The Falkland Islands’ location necessarily means that imported fossil fuels are expensive to use, so the Falkland Islands Government is taking advantage of the one source of energy that is cheap, green and in plentiful supply – wind power.
Since 1996, the Government has been investing in a forward-thinking and environmentally friendly policy to increase its use of renewable energy supplies, such as windpower, and working with the Falkland Islands Development Corporation (FIDC) and consumers to develop the renewable energy grant scheme. This scheme continues to help the Islands move towards sustainability, as well as protecting the unique environment of the Falklands.
Rural Wind Power
Farms in the Islands used to rely solely on diesel generators for their power but this was expensive and only provided electricity for a few hours a day. Farmers realised the potential for harnessing wind power and today, with funding assistance through FIDC, 85% of farms have 24-hour power from renewable sources.
Urban Wind Power
In 2007, the Falkland Islands Government completed the installation of three wind turbines at the Sand Bay Wind Farm, located near the capital, Stanley. The installation of three wind turbines resulted in the displacement of 26% of the Stanley Power Station’s annual fuel consumption.
Phase Two of the Wind Farm, completed in 2010, consisted of a further three turbines and three flywheels (flywheels are used to store the energy generated by the turbines). The supply and installation of this additional equipment increased the displacement of fuel consumption at the Stanley Power Station to an average 35-40%. The peak daily displacement recorded to date was 54%. The project has been a great success, reducing costs and minimising the environmental impact.
Falklands Energy Facts
The Islands have experimented with other forms of renewable energy including hydro-electric and solar power. These forms work well for smaller applications but cannot match the performance or cost effectiveness of wind power. Therefore, the Falklands will be examining the potential of modern energy storage and heat pump technologies to optimise wind power and further reduce the consumption of fossils fuels.